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Keeping Dust Out & The Air Clean In The 57 System Home Server Room

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  • #11
    Ozone is bad for your health. Ditch the ionizer. Get a combination humidifier/purifier. It will do the same job without reducing your lifespan.

    Also, ionizers only really work in an enclosed environment. Your HVAC is constantly introducing new air, which is probably overwhelming the ionizer's ability to do its job, since they are not designed for working with hundreds of new cuft of air per minute. Even your HEPA filter is probably not specified to handle the volume of new air you are introducing. A humidifier will work vastly better. It will reduce the temperature and at the same time weigh down dust particles, and it will do both without any significant health risks or electricity costs.
    Last edited by linuxgeex; 06-22-2015, 01:50 PM.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by linuxgeex View Post
      Ozone is bad for your health.
      It's for a *server* room. Not a living room. Who cares about the health impact of the devices if nobody lives permanently in the basement.

      Originally posted by linuxgeex View Post
      Get a combination humidifier/purifier. It will do the same job without reducing your lifespan.
      Again, it's for a *server* room. I strongly presume that cranking the humidity too much won't be good for the servers' lifespan


      Now back to the subject:

      I've a medical background. One of the way to keep dust and bacteria out (e.g.: of an surgery room, out of rooms of patient with reduced immunity, etc.) is to try to keep the room's air pressure slightly above the ambient air pressure (that small gradient will generate a slight air flow that pushes the dust out).

      i.e.: have more big industrial fan push air through HEPA filter, then in, than fans sucking the air out of the basement.

      (The reverse is also true: If you have a highly contagious dangerous patient, you keep them in low-pressure rooms, so the bacterias have less chance of escaping and stay sucked in)



      On a smaller scale (PC Case) positive pressure is also what the guys from DEMCIfilter recommends. If it works for medical rooms, and inside desktop cases, it might be worth a try in a server room.
      (If you do it right, you'll notice less dust collecting on the filter of the air ionizers scattered accros the server room).

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      • #13
        Actually DrYak, it's for a living room which happens to have a large number of servers in it. Keep up.

        Increasing the relative humidity a few percent will lower the temperature, increase the specific heat of the air (which will allow it to carry away more heat) and unless you are raising the relative humidity to something stupid like 80%+ it's not going to be bad for the server equipment. In fact there may be components in the server stacks which will live longer in a higher relative humidity, depending on what the HVAC is pumping in. HVACs tend to drastically reduce the relative humidity well below normal levels, so adding some humidity back isn't going to harm the humans or the servers.

        Yes, PAP is the way to go, and Michael is already doing that by having an HVAC deliver large volumes of air, but he's only using "high quality HVAC filters" not HEPA filters for ingress airflow. It would probably be more efficient and cost effective to add a set of HEPA filters directly to the HVAC as a second stage filtration than to have several independent free-standing air filters and ionizers around the living space.
        Last edited by linuxgeex; 06-23-2015, 04:10 AM.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by linuxgeex View Post
          Actually DrYak, it's for a living room which happens to have a large number of servers in it. Keep up.
          What? He's living in there? Michael, are actually living in this basement?
          I was under the impression that this part of the basement serves mainly as a server room, and has a few things for when people come by (mini bar, couch, screen), but nobody is there 24 / 7, with Michael spending most of his time upstairs coding/remoting from his desktop:
          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          I keep my presence in the server room minimal. There's no real rugs/sofas/etc sans a leather seating area.
          Originally posted by linuxgeex View Post
          Increasing the relative humidity a few percent {...} unless you are raising the relative humidity to something stupid like 80%+ it's not going to be bad for the server equipment.
          Ah okay. When you mentionned "humidifier", I was having mental pictures of the kind of currently popular gimmicky accessory that output a thick cloud of vapor.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by linuxgeex View Post
            Actually DrYak, it's for a living room which happens to have a large number of servers in it. Keep up.

            Increasing the relative humidity a few percent will lower the temperature, increase the specific heat of the air (which will allow it to carry away more heat) and unless you are raising the relative humidity to something stupid like 80%+ it's not going to be bad for the server equipment. In fact there may be components in the server stacks which will live longer in a higher relative humidity, depending on what the HVAC is pumping in. HVACs tend to drastically reduce the relative humidity well below normal levels, so adding some humidity back isn't going to harm the humans or the servers.

            Yes, PAP is the way to go, and Michael is already doing that by having an HVAC deliver large volumes of air, but he's only using "high quality HVAC filters" not HEPA filters for ingress airflow. It would probably be more efficient and cost effective to add a set of HEPA filters directly to the HVAC as a second stage filtration than to have several independent free-standing air filters and ionizers around the living space.
            I don't know if you know this, but where Michael is the humidity gets 80%+ for weeks on end. That nice finished basement would get moldy and stank real quick without a dehumidifier. It's essential. I know the AC helps cut it down, but you can't stop entropy and the humidity seeps in from the walls, from the sump, from the upstairs, from the windows.....

            A humidifier would make things so much worse.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by DrYak View Post
              What? He's living in there? Michael, are actually living in this basement?
              I was under the impression that this part of the basement serves mainly as a server room, and has a few things for when people come by (mini bar, couch, screen), but nobody is there 24 / 7, with Michael spending most of his time upstairs coding/remoting from his desktop:
              I spend at most an hour down there per day.
              Michael Larabel
              http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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              • #17
                Originally posted by duby229 View Post

                I don't know if you know this, but where Michael is the humidity gets 80%+ for weeks on end. That nice finished basement would get moldy and stank real quick without a dehumidifier. It's essential. I know the AC helps cut it down, but you can't stop entropy and the humidity seeps in from the walls, from the sump, from the upstairs, from the windows.....

                A humidifier would make things so much worse.
                Indeed. I do have a humidifer attached to HVAC system, but only use it during winter months.
                Michael Larabel
                http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by linuxgeex:

                  Actually DrYak, it's for a living room which happens to have a large number of servers in it. Keep up.

                  Originally posted by DrYak View Post
                  What? He's living in there? Michael, are actually living in this basement?
                  I was under the impression that this part of the basement serves mainly as a server room, and has a few things for when people come by (mini bar, couch, screen), but nobody is there 24 / 7, with Michael spending most of his time upstairs coding/remoting from his desktop:
                  Sorry, Dr Yak, I thought English was your first language and you would know what "living room" means vs "living space". You said it was not a "living room", so I tried to clarify. To be clear: a "living room" is where you entertain your guests, watch TV, but it is not where you typically eat and sleep. Those are dining rooms, bedrooms and sometimes kitchens. Very poor people living in single-room apartments do in fact eat and sleep in their "living room" but Michael isn't living such a life of poverty. However I've personally known people who have lived as you suggest, in Moscow, in fact two families in a single room suite separating the room into two with a carpet hanging from a cord between walls to provide some privacy. But if they had other rooms, absolutely they would not use their living room as sleeping and eating quarters.

                  Originally posted by Michael View Post

                  I spend at most an hour down there per day.
                  Unless you're watching a movie on the projector with friends and having a beer, probably in the winter when the temperature is tolerable. ;-)

                  I still think a humidifier would help even in the summer. Check your relative humidity. I'm sure it's very low, regardless of what it is outside, because you have a forced air system and KW of heat in that space, both of which work to produce a dry environment. Evaporating water is a lot cheaper than HVAC.

                  And I also think that if you improve your ingress filtration your whole environment will be much cleaner. Pumping dusty air in and they trying to clean it up after it has circulated makes less sense than having clean air to begin with... well unless you enjoy dusting your server racks, glasses, etc.

                  Here's a model I would recommend. It's a cool (evaporative) humidifier, it has a nice antibacterial silver lined water vessel, it has an automated running mode that will hold between 40-60% relative humidity, and it serves a 600 sqft room: http://amazon.com//dp/B007RNUC6A currently 43% off.
                  Last edited by linuxgeex; 06-28-2015, 11:24 PM.

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